### Magnitude is a measure of an earthquake’s energy.

As the magnitude increases, so does the amount of energy released by the quake. But can magnitude be negative?

The answer to this question is no, and here’s why: Magnitude cannot be less than zero because it measures how much energy has been released in total.

If there was a quake that had all the energy stored in a battery (1).

#### Then its magnitude would be 1.0 or 0.0 depending on which we use as our unit for measuring earthquakes.

If it is 0.0, that means the quake has released no energy yet and so its magnitude can’t be negative (negative numbers require a positive number to balance them).

In conclusion:

Magnitude cannot be less than zero because it measures how much energy has been released in total.

If there was a quake that had all the energy stored in a battery (that’s why they are called “natural” disasters).

Then its magnitude would be either 0 or -∞ depending on which we use as our unit for measuring earthquakes.

For this reason, an earthquake with a magnitude  ∞ could still happen!

An example of such an event would be one happening at sea level .

While another might not have enough water pressure around it to produce more than.